Bootstrapping His Future Venture After Selling a Side Project

“It feels like I’m just building on my own, talking to a wall.”

In this interview, we’re diving into the journey of a tech pro, Elliott Bowen, from North Wales, UK, who did the big company stuff but found real love in DIY projects.

Now all about Silly UI, still a baby project, he spills the beans on his daily grind, what sparked the 3D web component idea, and the bumps in the road of Indie Hacking.

Elliott’s going all-in on SEO.

He believes marketing is everything, and he’s dead-set on making this project not just good but seen by all the potential users.

Let’s find out the whole story of Elliott building Silly UI.

Elliott Bowen – Founder, Silly UI

1. Tell us a little bit about your background and how did you end up with what you’re doing today.

I’ve been in software engineering for a while now, working on all sorts of projects and even with big names like IBM and McLaren F1.

But honestly, what really gets me going is doing my own thing.

That’s always been the dream.

I’m pretty into the Indie Hacker / Build in public community and have whipped up a bunch of side projects, even sold one.

Now, I’m all about focusing on something more long-term.

2. How does your day look like?

I’m an early riser, usually up by 6:00 AM to either surf or get to the gym.

By 8:30 AM, I’m showered and off to my favourite café for a regular breakfast of poached eggs, bacon, and a small latte (the same every day – boring, I know).

Lunch is often at the same spot. My most productive hours are from 9:00 AM to 13:00 PM, when I tackle the bulk of my tasks.

This is crucial for me as I balance a full-time job with building side projects.

Afternoons, from 13:00 to 14:00 PM, are for errands, a bit of relaxation, or sometimes just watching YouTube.

From 14:00 PM, I’m focusing on my side projects until 17:00 PM.

Then it’s time for work meetings, which usually end between 19:30 PM and 20:00 PM.

If I’m not too tired, I might do a bit more on my side project.

Otherwise, I’ll be chilling on the sofa with my girlfriend, often watching Netflix.

3. What does your startup do, and what inspired you to start it?

Currently, I’m building a set of 3D animated web components that developers and designers can copy & paste into their projects.

The web, in my opinion, has become a bit too predictable.

Everything seems to look the same.

Yet, now and then, I come across something on Twitter that really stands out, brimming with advanced animations and dynamic interactions.

I believe this is the direction we are heading in the world of the web: a more 3D, interactive experience for everyone.

That’s why I created Silly UI.

My aim is to reduce the entry barrier for integrating these animations and interactions into projects, helping more and more people stand out in their own projects.

4. What’s your company’s revenue & profit for last month, and what’s its valuation at the moment?

Silly UI is just two weeks old, and still in its infancy.

We are currently in the alpha stage, as I’m working my way through refining some of our components.

We’ve been fortunate to have a fair number of sales early on, but our numbers are still small.

My plan is to focus intensively over the next six months to see where this leads us.

5. What were some of the biggest challenges and obstacles you faced in the early days of your startup? And How did you overcome those challenges?

For me, this is the first time I’ve tried to build in public.

I’m starting with zero Twitter followers, and I think that’s the most challenging part for me.

Often, it feels like I’m just building on my own, talking to a wall.

The only thing I can do is to keep pushing through, regardless of how disheartening it can be at times.

Currently, increasing visibility is my biggest focus.

Sharing anything and everything we produce.

6. How did you build your team, and what qualities do you look for in team members?

Haha – I’m a team of 1.

7. What marketing strategies did you use or planning to use to acquire customers and grow your user base?

At the moment, I’m betting all my chips on SEO; that’s my main focus.

I’m relatively new to it, but everything I do is aimed at helping us rank better for visibility.

Although I’m posting on Twitter as much as I can, I can’t really rely on it at the moment, with just 35 followers.

I want to give my all to SEO early on, so hopefully, later down the line, I can start reaping the benefits.

8. How did you fund your startup, and what advice do you have for entrepreneurs seeking funding?

Currently, everything is self-funded.

I’m fortunate to be able to handle all the development work myself, including front-end, back-end, and design.

I wear all the hats.

Additionally, everything we generate from sales is being reinvested straight back into the business, without exception.

9. What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned as a startup founder, and how have those lessons influenced your approach to entrepreneurship?

Marketing is everything.

I’m increasingly realizing that being able to build something isn’t enough; it also needs to be seen, especially from a business perspective.

Effective marketing and visibility are now becoming my main focus.

Without these, you’re left in the dark.

This realization is crucial as I work with Silly UI, and it’s a principle I intend to apply in all my future projects.

I never want to find myself in a position again where I’ve spent a long time building something, only to release it and have nobody see it.

10. How do you stay motivated and focused when faced with setbacks and obstacles?

I’m just determined to make this work.

I’m so, so, so tired of building things and them not working out that I’m just giving this my absolute all.

I still have so many days where I question everything, but regardless of what happens, I want to see this one through to the end.

The thought of this being another failed project makes me feel a lot worse than any setback coming my way.

11. Looking back, what advice would you give to your younger self when you were just starting out on your journey?

SHARE YOUR WORK!

12. Anything else you want to share?

Check out Silly UI ✌️

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